A Republic – Can We Keep It?

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September 17 is Constitution Day, and as required by federal law, all public school teachers – regardless of the subject they are trained to teach – must teach their students about the U.S. Constitution.

I teach American History and Civics.  I spend a lot of time talking with my students about the Constitution, but my Constitution Day assignment might appear very basic (and not very different from last year’s lesson).  Yet it is intended to challenge some common misconceptions and half truths perpetrated by Progressives over the past century.

I have typed up an “open book” quiz.  The first 5 questions focus on the words Democracy and Republic.

“The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government . . . “

Article IV, Section 4, U.S. Constitution

The Constitution created a Republic.  That simple fact stands in direct contrast to the drivel my students are continually subjected to:  the current White House Occupant, Lamestream Media, and 12 years of Progressive indoctrination in government schools, have drilled it into their heads that they live in a Democracy, but the Founding Fathers rarely used that term.  I want my students to read the Constitution for themselves and see that it never mentions democracy once.

I want to get their attention.  The last two questions of the Constitution Day quiz focus on the Constitution of the State of Michigan.  Article VIII, Section 1, of Michigan’s Constitution clearly defines the purpose of public education, and the wording is taken directly from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787.  It declares that, “Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Interesting, isn’t it, to note the stark contrast between the Common Core fanatics’ mantra of “college and career readiness” versus the unequivocally stated purpose of education according to Michigan’s actual constitution?  Schools shall forever be encouraged to achieve good government and the happiness of mankind.  We could do with a lot more of that and a lot less of the Common Core drivel, couldn’t we?

By seeing the contrast between what they’ve been told, and what these constitutions actually state, I expect my students to experience some level of cognitive dissonance.  When reality and misconceptions collide teachable moments are created.  I want my students to question, and to research for themselves, what is true about our nation’s founding, what the Constitution actually says, and why.

“Religion, morality and knowledge being necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind, schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Article VIII, Section 1, Michigan Constitution

Here’s the quiz.

Constitution Day Quiz

The following link will take you to a digital copy of the U.S. Constitution. You will need to read the Constitution in order to correctly answer the following questions about the U.S. Constitution.

1. How many times is the word “Democracy” (or Democratic) used in the U.S. Constitution?

  1. one time
  2. two times
  3. five times
  4. The word “Democracy” is never used in the U.S. Constitution.

2.  How many times is the word “Republican” (or Republic) used in the U.S. Constitution?

  1. one time
  2. two times
  3. five times
  4. The word “Republican” is never used in the U.S. Constitution.

3.  The U.S. Constitution guarantees that “…every state in this Union…” shall have a “____________________ Form of Government.”

  1. Democratic
  2. Oligarchic
  3. Republican
  4. Socialistic

4.  Which Article and Section of the U.S. Constitution guarantees “…to every state in this Union a Republican Form of Government….”?

  1. Article I, Section 1
  2. Article II, Section 4
  3. Article III, Section 3
  4. Article IV, Section 4

5.  The Pledge of Allegiance was officially adopted by Congress in 1942. When a citizen recites the Pledge of Allegiance they declare their allegiance to the U.S. flag and to the ________________________, “… for which it [the U.S. flag] stands.”

  1. Democracy
  2. Oligarchy
  3. Republic
  4. United States of America

Exact wording from the Northwest Ordinance of 1787 is still in the Constitution of the State of Michigan in Article VIII, Section 1, regarding the purpose of public education. Read the state constitution for yourself, and answer the following questions.

6.  According to the Constitution of the State of Michigan, “…schools and the means of education shall forever be encouraged”, in order to achieve what two things?

  1. “good government and the happiness of mankind”
  2. “college and career readiness”
  3. “a good job and lots of money to go with it”
  4. “line the pockets of politicians and all their cronies with fat building construction contracts”

7.  According to the Constitution of the State of Michigan, what three things are “…necessary to good government and the happiness of mankind”?

  1. “the State of Michigan’s Board of Education”
  2. “Common Core”
  3. “Rigorous and relevant curriculum”
  4. “Religion, morality and knowledge”
Tim Keller
About Tim Keller
Tim Keller has taught American History, World History, government, writing, speech and related courses at both the high school and college level since 1997.
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